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Do not fold, spindle or mutilate. Those instructions were once printed on punch cards that fed data to mainframe computers. Today’s smart phones process more data, but they still weren’t built for being shoved into back pockets.
In the quest to build gadgets that can survive such abuse, engineers have been testing electronic systems based on new materials that are both flexible and switchable – that is, capable of toggling between two electrical states: on-off, one-zero, the binary commands that can program all things digital.